The new coach of Bayern Munich Thomas Tuchel said on Saturday that he was “surprised” to be offered the chance to replace the sacked Julian Nagelsmann.
Tuchel, 49, has been appointed on a contract until 2025 after Nagelsmann was sacked in his second season in charge of Bayern.
Nagelsmann lost his job with the six-time European champions on Friday with the club second in the Bundesliga, but he has guided them to the Champions League quarter final.
Tuchel was sacked by Chelsea in September despite leading the club to the Champions League title in 2021, and spoke to the Bayern team late on Tuesday.
“Believe me or not, I was a bit confused in the first 30 seconds of our first conversation,” Tuchel told reporters.
“I don’t know what we are talking about, it was announced for now.
“I was very surprised. The moment was surprising. There was no contact before,” added the former manager of Paris Saint-Germain.
Tuchel has a reputation for being abusive at times and needs full support from his staff – a need that has strained relations at Chelsea and PSG.
Bayern’s sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic defended the move to offload the 35-year-old. Nagelsmann and denied the decision to hire Tuchel was made in panic.
“The situation between the coach and the team is no longer valid,” said Salihamidzic.
“We came to the conclusion, we need a coach like this, who has a lot of experience, also abroad.
“On Tuesday evening we met and had a very good conversation. He was very happy from the first two,” added the former Bayern player.
Tuchel has a team that includes Senegal forward Sadio Mane, German Joshua Kimmich and Canadian international Alphonso Davies.
“The team is one of the most talented and the best in Europe,” he said.
“I’m really looking forward to working with this team. You’re a contender for every trophy with these players.”
“The DNA of the club includes a commitment. Bayern is about winning, it’s also about how to win,” added Tuchel.
Bayern are still chasing three trophies this season and midfielder Kimmich said the decision to part ways with Nagelsmann was “regrettable”.
“It’s sad when a coach is fired, because it means we haven’t been trained as players,” he said. Kimmich after playing in Germany’s 2-0 win over Peru in a friendly on Saturday.
“It’s a strange situation, but in the football business at the end of the day, there is no big heart, no love.
Kimmich also admitted that he has no relationship with Tuchel at the moment.
“I didn’t know him,” he told ZDF.
Bayern visit Manchester City in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final on April 11. That game comes a week after they host Freiburg in the last eight of the German Cup.
Tuchel’s first game will come on April 1 after the international break.
Bayern will meet the leaders of the league Borussia Dortmund, the club that Tuchel made from 2015-2017.
“It’s the (big) game in German football,” he said. “There is another important point.”